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The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: December 24, 1964 (Thursday)

Odeon Cinema, Hammersmith, London

Following the previous year's seasonal extravaganza, Brian Epstein now presented "Another Beatles Christmas Show" at the Hammersmith Odeon, across town from Finsbury Park. The venue may have changed but the formula was much the same: music, pantomime, comedy and, of course, a constant barrage of screaming from the youthful audience. The Beatles appeared in two sketches, one with Freddie Garrity (of the Dreamers) and another with disc-jockey Jimmy Savile, and sang 11 songs, "Twist And Shout", "I'm A Loser", Baby's In Black", "Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby", "Can't Buy Me Love", "Honey Don't", "I Feel Fine", "She's A Woman", "A Hard Day's Night", "Rock And Roll Music" and "Long Tall Sally".

Rehearsals began on December 21st and the show ran for 20 nights, two "houses" each, until January 16, 1965, except for December 24th and 29th, where there was only one - a total of 38 performances. (There were no performances at all on December 25th and 27th and January 10th)

At some point during this first week (the precise date was not documented), radio broadcaster/DJ Chris Denning visited the Beatles in their dressing-room at the Odeon and interviewed them, unfortunately while they were eating dinner, for a new series on Radio Luxembourg. Called The Beatles, it was broadcast for 42 weeks every Sunday night (8:45-9:00 pm) from January 7th to October 17th, 1965. The Beatles did not record music sessions for this series. In fact they had little to do with it at all, Radio Luxembourg having to spread thinly what scant interview material the group gave Denning - taped on this date and on March 20th, April 29th and June 20, 1965. Most of each week's 15 minutes was given over to news items and listener's record requests.

The Beatles also read out listeners' letters during these interviews and dedicated songs to family and friends. This was especially revealing, and showed the group keen to maintain contact with their Liverpool past. In this first interview John dedicated records to Pete Shotton and to Nigel Whalley, Paul to Ivan Vaughan (Shotton, Walley and Vaughn were ex-Quarry Men) and to the boys at his former school the Liverpool Institute and girls at Blackburne House (across the road from the Institute), George dedicated records to school friends Arthur Kelly and Tony Workman, and Ringo to friend Roy Trafford and also to Ermie, Vi and Art Caldwell (Al Caldwell being Rory Storm, Ernie and Vi his parents).

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